RIVER MURRAY, the largest river in Australia. It rises in the Australian Alps in 36 40' S. and 147 E., and flowing north-west skirts the borders of New South Wales and Victoria until it passes into South Australia, shortly after which it bends southward into Lake Alexandrina, a shallow lagoon, whence it makes its way to the sea at Encounter Bay by a narrow opening at 35 35' S. and 138 55' E. Near its source the Murray Gates, precipitous rocks, tower above it to the height of 3000 ft.; and the earlier part of its course is tortuous and uneven. Farther on it loses so much by evaporation in some parts as to become a series of pools. Its length till it debouches into Lake Alexandrina is 1120 m., its average breadth in summer is 240 ft., its average depth about i6ft.;and it drains an area of about 270,000 sq. m. For small steamers it is navigable as far as Albury. Periodically it overflows, causing wide inundations. The principal tributaries of the Murray are those from New South Wales, including the Edward River, the united streams of the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan, and the Darling or Callewatta. In 1829 Captain Sturt traced the Murrumbidgee River till it debouched into the Murray, which he followed down to Lake Alexandrina, but he was compelled, after great hardships, to return without discovering its mouth. In 1831 Captain Barker, while attempting to discover this, was murdered by the natives.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)